Coronavirus: Health scam areas across the world, stay alert

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Coronavirus: Health scam areas across the world
Coronavirus: Health scam areas across the world

New Delhi : Coronavirus pandemic has slammed the world so hard that the economies are nor crawling and struggling for survivals. While people are looking for all possible ways to stay away from it, the harsh reality is that some of the scammers have come in picture and trying to loot people, taking advantage of their fear.

There are primarily five areas where scammers are trying to capitalize the situation. These areas are: 

  • Treatments, cures and vaccines
  • Tests
  • Masks, equipment and other products
  • Telehealth
  • Financial
  • Let's check them out in detail:

1. Treatments, Cures or Vaccines

Since there is no proven cure or medicine of the coronavirus infection, the only way out is to increase immunity and try medicines what health officials are recommending.

But since most people are in a panic, fraudsters or scammers are playing with their mind and making capital gains by fitting false treatment remedies.

Currently, there is no approved treatment, cure or vaccine for COVID-19. While many researchers and companies are racing to produce these needed substances, for the time being, any entity that claims their product is the solution is peddling a fraudulent item.

The FDA has been monitoring firms and products being marketed to consumers related to the COVID-19 crisis and has been issuing warnings letter to firms selling fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, mitigate, diagnose or cure COVID-19.

The products the FDA has flagged include: (

  • Cannabidiol or CBD products.
  • Homoeopathic drugs.
  • Essential oils, tinctures and herbal products.
  • Colloidal silver.
  • Chlorine dioxides (aka bleach).
  • Salt therapy products.

2: Tests for coronavirus

Another major aspect of tackling coronavirus is getting tested and take measures if it comes positive. But with limited kits and testing centres, some of the companies have stepped in to capitalize this too.

Some companies are seen selling the COVID-19 in-home testing kits, which are highly unreliable and do not contain certificate from Health ministry.

The only reliable way to get tests done is at the govt facilities and govt approved private labs. In fact, the rapid test kits were found faulty too, taking note of which ICMR suspended the use of kits till April 24.

3: Masks, Equipment and other products

Recently, masks were made mandatory for people visiting public places to buy essentials. And with this came another opportunity for companies to push in all kind of masks amid panic buying by the customers.

This is not limited to normal people and has reached to hospitals where ineffective masks were delivered, risking the lives of health officials. According to some media reports, Chinese masks were returned by several hospitals after they were found faulty.

Price gouging is also an issue. It’s definitely a seller’s market right now for all manner of personal protective equipment, sanitizing wipes and other cleaning agents.

4: Telehealth

While things have moved from offline to online for most of the cases, checking health online has also become of the segment where several companies are stepping in to capitalize the need.

Telehealth has experienced explosive growth since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and Stephen Hyduchak, CEO at Aver and Bridge Protocol, two companies that specialize in identity verification, artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies, says this is an area where consumers need to be mindful of protecting themselves.

The biggest problem associated with such services remains that the authenticity of the information provided cannot be checked. It has also been seen that the doctors are recommending medicines online and there is no mush information has been provided about the doctor.

There are scammers who will take advantage, so look for the trusted name. Don’t just meet with a doctor online that you’ve met on Reddit or another social networking site. 

It is also advised that one must never share his/her personal details and transaction details to any of the doctors.

5. Financial

People have been trying their best to ensure none of the people suffering due to lack of finance during this time of crisis. While people are donating to their capacity, there are some who wants to take advantage of the situation.

A lot of bogus NGOs have been seen who are collecting funds on the name of charity and are passing the very little benefit to the end person.

If you want to make a contribution, make it to official NGOs of the government sector.